16/06/2018: “Lola” by The Kinks


“Lola” was released in 1970, and was subsequently banned by the BBC and by Australia. The BBC had banned it because it uses the brand name of Coca-Cola,  and  Australia banned it because it’s about a trans woman.

I don’t know whether the song is offensive; it seems perfectly benign to me. It could well be that Australia found the concept of transgender people a bit much, as it was the 70s.

The song basically tells the story of dancing with a woman in a club but not realising that she was transgender or whatever until later. It is apparently based on a similar event that their manager had experienced. There’s no malice, it’s just a story.

The song took them a while to record because they put a bit more effort into it. It shows. The musicality of the song is top class, with great vocal melodies, an interesting and varied percussion section (nice bongos), and some fantastic guitar riffs. The song builds and builds until its ferocious climax.

The song was quite successful, reaching number 2 in the British charts. I don’t know that it’s particularly relatable for most people, but it’s got a killer hook and is just a smashing tune!


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